We humans are the caretakers of our pets. It is our responsibility, our duty to not march blindly to the veterinarian for yet another rabies vaccination without questioning whether it is in the best interests of the animal, or the doctor’s livelihood. Here are some facts you may not be aware of, and how you can play an active role in your pet’s welfare.
-Many of our pets are acquiring autoimmune diseases, behavioral problems like phobias and aggressive behavior, and some are dying-all from vaccinossis, being over-vaccinated by the very veterinarians we count on to keep them alive and disease-free. Often these diseases don’t show up for years, and we wonder how and why.
-Tumors can become a problem in the areas where most shots are given. Be safe. Feel around those areas frequently or when grooming, to be sure there are no lumps developing. If there are, have them examined.
– Veterinarians will argue the laws of their state require repeated annual rabies and other six-month vaccines. Rabies laws differ among the states, but any vet worth his license will tell you annual rabies shots are not necessary, and can be deadly. Every pet owner has a right to request a waiver of these shots. Some states will authorize it, others will not.
Advances In Medicine/Challenging Annual Rabies Shots
Doctors of Veterinary Medicine rely heavily on the income they receive from repeated animal visits for vaccinations; many still give multiple vaccines to every dog and cat that comes in the door. Thanks to organizations like The American Association of Feline Practitioners, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and extensive research by people like Dr. Ronald Schultz of the University of Wisconsin, a different rabies vaccine policy is emerging within the veterinary community to modify treatment by giving the least vaccines possible to maintain a healthy Garfield and Fido.
Here’s some encouraging news on changing vaccine protocols from Dr. Ronald Schultz, head of Pathobiology at the University of Wisconsin:
– “I would like to make you aware that all 27 veterinary schools in North America are in the process of changing their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats. Some of this information will present an ethical & economic challenge to vets, and there will be skeptics. Some organizations have come up with a political compromise suggesting vaccinations every three years to appease those who fear loss of income versus those concerned about potential side effects. Politics, traditions, or the doctor’s economic well-being should not be a factor in medical decisions.”
In his clinical studies, Dr. W. Jean Dodds, DVM (938 Stanford Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 828-4804; FAX (310) 828-8251) writes:
– “Puppies and kittens receive antibodies through their mothers milk. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks. Puppies & kittens should not be vaccinated at less than 8 weeks.”
My own breeder waited 12 weeks. Does this make you think about whether pet stores and puppy mills consider this important protocol?
Caution-The Better Part of Valor
I do not write this to put fear in the hearts of pet owners. Fear causes us to make wrong decisions in a state of panic. But we should not trust someone simply because he/she has an MD or DVM next to their name. My personal experience is an example of what a rabies vaccine can do to a healthy dog or cat, when the shot is given too frequently. Keep in mind there are those who advocate not giving it at all after the initial puppy/kitty shots.
Too Close For Comfort
Two weeks ago my healthy, energetic, playful, bright-eyed little dog almost died after moving from one state, where the three-year rabies requirement prevails, to another state where I was told by my veterinarian that annual rabies vaccinations are required, regardless of the vaccine used (there are different manufacturers).
-Within four hours of receiving her second annual shot plus six-month boosters of other “required” shots, my dog would not eat or drink water; she could not walk. When we tried standing her up she stood like a glassy-eyed statue; she could not relieve herself; she was paralyzed.
-My vet admitted he’d seen this reaction before in various dog breeds (dachshunds, golden retrievers) and cats; that it depends not on size, breed, or species, but on how the manufacturer’s vaccine is tolerated by the animal. He then cavalierly gave her a cortisone shot and said she should be fine in a couple of days. Shots, Shots, Shots! “Next time we’ll add some Benedryl beforehand,” he added.
-It took four days for Molly to recover from a zombie to a normal dog. Others have not been that lucky, and have died days after receiving annual rabies vaccines. If your state will allow it, your vet can write a waiver of the annual shot. We later discovered another veterinarian in the same area who gives three-year rabies shots. Ergo it is not a state law where I reside.
In our society children and animals have no rights. And like toddlers, house pets depend on us for everything from health care to daily needs. Dogs and cats possess acute senses we do not. As a result, they have saved our lives and loved us unconditionally. In fact, in the case of the dog, migratory humans would never have made it through ice age and millennia without the adaptable dog. We owe canine and feline to not put them at risk, to never consciously fail them-to always question.
+Read: Catherine O’Driscoll’s “Shock to the System” and “What Vets Don’t Tell You about Vaccines.”